By David Lee on April 1, 2010 · tagged as , ,

Sharing stories of engaged bystanders to prevent sexual violence

The Engaged Bystander blog from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is collecting stories of what people  have done or witnessed someone else do that exhibit positive bystander engagement to prevent sexual violence.  (Click here for PreventConnect‘s eLearning unit on engaging bystanders.)

Here is my story of a small action — only an “evil stare” to interrupt rape culture. And this story shows how just saying where we work may make a difference.

This took place sometime in the mid-1980s while I was giving blood.  As I was laying down with the needle in my arm, the male nurse asked me what I did for work. I responded that “I worked for the National Clearinghouse on Martial Rape.” I was then surprised when he responded by saying “I practice that every night.”

Here I was laying down, feeling weak, and I heard this anemic rape joke.  So I mustered all the energy I could and made my best effort to give him an evil stare.  It seemed to work, as he apologized and we talked about why such jokes are troubling.

I shared my story, what is your story? Click here to share your story.

David Lee

More Posts by David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project PreventConnect, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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